For instance, I very rarely want more informations about the files from an "ls" command; and if I did, I'd probably use Finder instead. On the other hand, not having enough terminal real estate to display the entire directory at once is a very frequent problem. From that perspective, adding icons is a step in the wrong direction.
Thinking about it, if I were playing with making a better terminal, one of my first lines of thought would be things that made it quick and easy to break information out into other windows, because scrolling back and forth in the terminal's buffer is a PITA.
Of course, this new terminal might be exactly what the author needs, and more power to him if it is. There's no need for us all to use the same tools. (Thanks heavens -- I want nothing to do with Emacs or vi!)
The thing that strikes me as very, very cool about this project is that you might not need the Finder at all any more.
You know what would rock my world? A "lsf" command that emulated "ls" as much as possible, but launched a Finder window appropriately sized to display the results.
As for why? Because it will be optimized for keyboard interaction and rapid context switching.
It's very hard to make a product that essentially devalues things that your customers spent a lot of time learning. You're probably better off ignoring people who already happy with their shell experience, and going after people who have not yet invested in learning all that crap.
And yes, it's crap. And I say that not because I don't know it myself, but because in the end, much of it is not essential to the actual job we're trying to get done, it's the tools we use. And the tools are not the job.
I'm quite bad for upgrading for upgrading's sake but I can understand why, of all people, traders at Bloomberg didn't want any kind of learning curve on their terminals.
Yes, it's clearly better but users don't always want to change to something that does what they already do in a more modern way.
In my experience, programmers as a whole are actually more luddite and irrationally reactionary than the general populace.
Doctors and different drugs/treatments, Contractors and brands of power tools.
Programmers do seem to make the biggest deal about "all the fighting", everyone else seems to just accept that professionals are opinionated and arguing is how progress is made. But I'm on the inside with the programming stuff and on the outside looking in for the rest of these fields so maybe that's not true.
From what I've seen, smart Doctors and Contractors eventually get to discussing empirical data and costs. Far too often, I've seen programmers just make up crap and state it emphatically.
I actually built in anonymous usage logging into TermKit using Google Analytics over SSL. It logs the types of commands you execute (no data). It's my plan to release this data back to the community regularly. I don't think anyone has done a large-scale survey of command-line unix usage before. Should be interesting.
Edit: and you can easily turn it off if you wish.
I think the culture would be a vital part of an ecosystem of empirical observation. For the sciences generally, the culture predated the sources and gave rise to them. For medicine, I think a culture of empiricism was imported from other scientific fields. For contractors, they are very motivated to note what works, what breaks, and what enables them to make more money.